Vegan says eating meat again 'cured' his depression

Vegan says eating meat again 'cured' his depression

Once upon a time, Tim Shieff was hailed as the 'Vegan Prince'. Gaining tens of thousands of followers online, he promoted his vegan lifestyle as an athlete, ran an ethical clothing company named ETHCS and appeared on sporting competition TV show Ninja Warrior to prove a person can maintain their strength on a plant-based diet.

However, his princely reign fell to pieces when he recently admitted to fans that he had returned to eating meat, after struggling with numerous health issues including chronic fatigue and depression. Nowadays, he openly admits that he is considering hunting animals in his mission for "health and wellbeing".

Tim discusses the health concerns that allegedly came with veganism for him:

Tim first decided to go vegan after watching a documentary that taught him how animals are slaughtered in the industry, with the 31-year-old confessing: "I'd never been conscious of my food choices... I wasn't raised with this awareness."

He abstained from the use of animal products for six years and built a platform online of over 175,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 85,000 Instagram followers. But behind the scenes, his body was failing him.

Tim Shieff Credit: Instagram/Tim Shieff

On British chat show This Morning, he told hosts John Barrowman and Rochelle Humes that his plant-based diet made him feel like his "whole body was shutting down," stating: "I had some joint issues, chronic fatigue, and mild depression. My whole body felt like it was shutting down."

Desperately clinging on to maintaining his vegan diet, he resorted to extreme methods to solve his issues, including drinking his own urine and fasting. He also did yoga and took B12 supplements, but never went to the doctor to seek professional help.

Tim Shieff Credit: Instagram/Tim Shieff

"I was going through really extreme ways to try and manage it within the vegan diet and it wasn’t until I sort of broke free from that that I was able to [get better]," he said. "I’m in the avant-garde realm of healing, and I want to find simple natural solutions. I just don’t mind being the guy on the edge doing alternative things. I see everyone else trying all the other stuff, and that’s not working either."

He admits that he was as shocked as anyone else that his relationship with veganism ended, and confessed he had received backlash from former fans. But, at the end of the day, he had to "speak his truth".

"Veganism, it helped me in the beginning, but I’ve tried so many things to make it work, and I was so shocked when the last thing I thought would work – to consume animal products – worked. My depression lifted, joints feeling a lot better, energy back in my body," he stated.

Tim Shieff Credit: Instagram/Tim Shieff

Nowadays, Tim - who says veganism still has benefits for "some people" - continues to vlog, and promotes ethical meat-eating.

Stating he would consider hunting his own food now, he said: "If I’m going to consume an animal, I feel it is my duty as a human to face that, embrace it myself and feel whatever emotions come up, and then that will make me, at least consume, more consciously."

Watch the rest of his interview here.